Monday, February 29, 2016

DAM NATION: February 2016 Playlist

It's the second month already? Haha. Anyway,the new playlist is now up and there's a couple of great selection into this compilation. So, here's a list of 15 songs that I (personally) fancy, that are already doing good on it's own and maybe some new singles from different artists that will probably - or maybe not - be hits in the next coming weeks in whatever format.


2 Irresistible Fall Out Boy (ft. Demi Lovato)
3 Make Me Life You Gwen Stefani
4 I'm Yours Alessia Cara
5 We Don't Talk Anymore Charlie Puth & Selena Gomez
6 Over and Over Again Nathan Sykes & Ariana Grande
7 Keeping Your Head Up Birdy
8 Formation Beyoncé
9 Keep Talking Cyrus
10 Fine By Me Chris Brown
11 Middle DJ Snake (ft. Bipolar Sunshine)
12 Rise Up Andra Day
13 History One Direction
14 Youth Troye Sivan
15 Work Rihanna (ft. Drake)

Password: Who ranked first in American Idol 15: Top 10?

Saturday, February 27, 2016

American Idol 15: Top 10

It’s American Idol Farewell Season Top 10 with Kelly Clarkson as  a judge and the verdict is in.. what a night! Yes, I'm still terribly upset that we lost Jenn Blosil this week, but I can't deny the fact that I'm also absolutely flabbergasted at how solid this season's Top 10 has become! Sure, we still have a couple of outliers in this mix, but for the most part, every one delivered some great moments on that stage.

Tonight's real winner? Kelly Clarkson. She became that judge this week and she was awesome. She was hysterical and honest, but at the same time, she allowed herself to really give detailed instructions to the contestants on how exactly they could improve their performance if they were around for another week. Yes, these critiques might not be as entertaining as Simon Cowell bringing contestants to tears, or Harry Connick Jr. and his constant effort to be the center of attention, but it is infinitely more useful to the artist. Oh, and she was outstanding in her Piece by Piece performance.

Let's move on to the rankings!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

American Idol 15: Top 14

Welcome to American Idol 15’s Top 14 night where the theme is "Favorite Moments From The Season So Far" which is just a fancy way of saying, "Sing a song you've done before since we don't have enough time to prepare for another song because Top 10 will be tomorrow".

Oh, and four (4) people did not have to sing since the judges gave them a "fast pass" and advanced directly to this season's Top 10.

- Dalton Rapattoni
- Olivia Rox
- Trent Harmon
- La'Porsha Renae

The others get to sing a reprise of their previous performances, and while some did disappoint, a lot of them actually delivered some pretty stellar performances.

Let's get on with the show shall we?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Movie Review: Room

Just exquisite. The premise of Room was simple, but resting underneath was a film of great depth and heart. The story was richly layered and tremendously gripping, the pacing - though a bit slow and jarring at times - made sense, and the direction was masterful in crafting a piece that drew me into its narrative. The visuals were subtle yet precise, and the movie's technical constraints created an intimate portrait through intricate framing. But what elevated the film to something extraordinary was the commanding performances of both Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay - both were uncompromising in their portrayals and were nothing short of a revelation. Room was an awesomely nuanced film with an effortless narrative and fantastic acting performances. A definite recommendation! 9.5

Monday, February 22, 2016

Movie Review: Zootopia

Zootopia may not be the most original or inventive animated film ever - the story was, in fact, a tad derivative - but it was an unexpectedly good piece of entertainment. I thought the narrative, though relatively basic, went far beyond minuscule cliched themes that we usually get from the film's contemporaries, the created realm for animals was impressive, the visuals were entrancing, and every technical piece fell seamlessly into place including some fantastic character designs. Not to mention the voice acting that was quite superb. Oh, and yes, this one was incredibly hilarious - watch out for those sloths!! Quite frankly, I didn't expect much from Zootopia as I thought it would be just another forgettable animated movie. No, I don't think it's going to be a classic, but it was, by far, one of the most delightful movies I've seen recently. 9

Saturday, February 20, 2016

American Idol 15: Top 24 (Group 2) All-Star Duets & Results

David Cook! Haley Reinhart! Jordin Sparks! Chris Daughtry! Kellie Pickler! Ok, there's also Constantine Maroulis. But really, this episode was awesome. Almost everyone delivered great performances, but more importantly, provided some needed nostalgia - especially when Kellie Pickler mentioned that she was on the show 10 years ago. Has it been that long?

Oh, and American Idol producers. Please stop the blatant manipulations and attempts to control the outcome of the farewell season with you playing favorites. That's what ruined the show a couple of seasons back. Please.

On with the show!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

American Idol 15: Top 24 (Group 2)

I don't even.. I don't know what.. American Idol Farewell Season's second group of semifinalists were.. what's the word? Umm, present last night? Ok. Let me gather my thoughts and find the best word to describe these final twelve contestants: they were all in attendance. Haha. Seriously. What was that?

I'm praying that the next round will put my fears to rest and that this was just an aberration. We've had them before.  Every now and again the semi-finalists just freeze up and fail miserably in front of of America. So, let us all hope that things improve for these kids, but faster than usual given that the finale is less than six weeks from now (TERRIFYING!).

On with the show!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Movie Review: How To Be Single

While I wasn't expecting How To Be Single to be something more than your run-of-the-mill romantic comedy film, I actually left cruelly disappointed by the end given the excellent promise of its first half. I kid you not. The beginning offered the possibility of a fresh take on this otherwise tired premise complemented by an arresting cast that had fantastic chemistry. Sadly, the movie fell under the same garbage we've all seen before and went into a disjointed narrative mess with oddly written scenes and overly trite script. Rebel Wilson also became nothing short of irritating and a ghastly cliché with her familiar brand of comedy strangely not working with the material. How To Be Single had nothing new or better to offer as it glided along on the charm of the cast, but failed to hide its flaws. No, it didn't end up being an awful film, but I've seen better. 6

Movie Review: Sisters

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are two of the funniest people I know, but quite frankly, the ordeal to watching Sisters was painful. I seriously had high hopes, but it just fell awfully flat. The story, in particular, was exceedingly predictable that as soon as the film added any story element, I knew exactly how everything would end. No, I'm not looking for anything thought provoking, but there's no dimension and depth to the narrative. I thought the humor came off forced and too slapstick for my taste, some of the supporting cast were more annoying than funny, and it lasted longer than I thought it should have. Look, Sisters wasn't entirely an awful dreck - it actually had some nice little moments here and there - but the film had nothing that really stuck out to vault this into must see territory. 4.5

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Movie Review: Deadpool

Where to even begin? You see, I really thought Hollywood had pretty much reached saturation point in superhero movies with the last few films being terribly banal and mundane. Then, Deadpool came, slightly broke the mold, and it was glorious. I thought the cinematic technique to break the fourth wall was genius, the sarcasm and rapid fire wit infused into the writing was impressive, the action scenes were brilliantly choreographed, the visual style was outstanding, and the scoring was absolutely perfect. Oh, and don't get me started with Ryan Reynolds, who was clearly born to play Deadpool - not Green Lantern, but Deadpool. Haha. The combination of everything in synergy made this film one of the most riveting superhero flicks in recent memory. No, Deadpool wasn't revolutionary - in fact, the story had the usual superhero tropes - and the execution won't satisfy everyone in the world, but for what it's worth, this was a deliriously entertaining one, if gratuitously violent and crude and I loved every minute of it. 9

Friday, February 12, 2016

American Idol 15: Top 24 (Group 1) All-Star Duets & Results

American Idol, I get it. The show is ending and what happened tonight made that loud and clear. No, the episode wasn't fantastic - some of the finalists faltered when forced to sing with seasoned American Idol alums - but the nostalgia that these past contestants brought on that stage was both heartwarming and sad.

It's been a long journey with the show and to see the growth of each one of them since their Idol stint made me emotional. Lauren Alaina, in particular, was a scared teenage girl when she joined five years ago and looked how awesome she sounded on her duets. I'm sad, but happy sad. If that makes sense.

On with the results show!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

American Idol 15: Top 24 (Group 1)

It's finally the Semifinals Round! This is always been an exciting night for American Idol because now we finally get to see what these kids can do in a "live" setting. I mean, we’ve seen them audition for weeks and weeks and now they get to sit there and compose a performance for America.

So, the verdict for this year's first group of semifinals? I'm quite happy considering that the usual first "live" show usually has full of jitters and nerves. Sure, we still had that this year, but there were actually a couple of strong performances from this group.

Not sure what to feel about the format though and the idea that the judges will be the one to whittle down the group to Top 14, but I'm hoping that the judges will do the right thing this time - although the simple fact that they eliminated Jessica Cabral for Gianna Isabella or Jordan Sasser scares me.

On with the show!

Movie Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Chances are that you've already made up your mind about this film as soon as you read the title. It's either you'll facepalm at the desecration of the beloved Jane Austin novel or you'll laugh at the absurdity of it all and just go with it. To me though, I simply adored the twist of the classic story juxtaposed against the horror of zombies. Believe it or not, the story for this madness came off generally sound as the film managed to weave the basic outline of the original Pride and Prejudice novel and well, zombies. I thought it was a hoot! The visual effects were good if a little heavy, the action sequences were executed surprisingly well, and the acting was generally not bad. Not going to lie, there could've been more to the film - consistency to the plot, more kooky action, etc - but Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, for the most part, was a satisfying piece of entertainment. 7

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Movie Review: Everything About Her

Let me go straight to the point: Everything About Her was everything I expected it to be. It had an extremely moving story about family, and the loss or potential loss of a loved one, a couple of wonderfully placed humor, a cliched final act, and some strong acting performances. Angel Locsin was absolutely fantastic in this role and she managed to balance out the intensity of Vilma Santos and the weak acting of Xian Lim, who I thought was awfully miscast. I thought the writing was good and layered and despite being predictable, the story still came off genuine - although the romance angle was annoyingly unnecessary. Everything About Her was able to establish a somber tone that bordered on depressing, but also knew when to pull back with some of the lightheartedness without undermining the narrative that it was trying to develop. The film wasn't perfect - far from it - but it had its moments. 7

American Idol 15: Showcase Round

I had no plans of reviewing the showcase round as I have so much in my table right now, but due to insistent demands of DAM NATION's long time readers, here's some quick assessment of their performances during this round. They are not, for the most part, an indication of the people I want to be part of this year's Top 10, but I will leave it at that.

Oh, and yes, there were a couple of stunning performances and I'm positive that this will be a solid albeit short final season.

On with the show!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

DAM NATION: American Idol Most Memorable Hollywood Week Moments

.. and the final Hollywood Week episode is done and we're almost at the homestretch (that fast?!).

How to sum up Hollywood Week of American Idol in one word? Drama! Throughout the entire fifteen (15) seasons, we've seen a lot of crying, panicking, mass elimination, and bitchery.. and I loved it. Sure, I cringed in some of the things the show did in some seasons, but that made for some good entertaining television. 

I will not be counting them down through writing like the BEST AUDITIONS, but I made a video for you to watch the most memorable moments on American Idol - Hollywood Week to the Green Mile. Enjoy!

American Idol: Most Memorable Moments of Hollywood Week #farewellseason
Posted by THE DAM NATION on Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

American Idol 15: Top 24 Spoiler

It's that time of the year again! Just like every year, here's the spoilers for American Idol Season 15 Top 24. I usually post them every February, but since the list have been leaked, I decided to share it with everyone. As usual, The Idol Pad, which I have been following for the last few years, have provided the list on their site. So there's that.

Oh, and they changed the format, yet again, this final season following the Top 24 semifinals format, but will be totally different moving forward due to gender imbalance.

Again, read at your own risk!! I warned you. If you want to be spoiled.. read on! If not.. go away!
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